Thursday, May 8, 2008

Stun Gun and Taser History

It all started when Thomas Edison decided to endorse the use of the electric chair to a state commission seeking alternatives ways for capital punishment. Of course stun guns today are not setup to be lethal, but they sure hurt and disable you temporarily!

Since Edison's endorsement in 1888, many countries started utilizing electricity as a torture weapon on prisoners. Torture weapons had to be strong enough to cause pain, yet not too powerful to cause death. In the 1930s, two devices where in use that fit the non lethal characteristics: the Argentine Picana Electrica and the Italian Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) device.

The ECT was invented by two Italian psychologists who worked with schizophrenics in the early 1930s. The electric shock was delivered directly to the head of the patient. But this device was not the ancestor of the present stun gun, it was much weaker than the powerful voltage that stun guns deliver these days. The Argentine Picana Electrica is probably the closest device to the stun guns being used today. It was used in many central and south American countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.

In the US, the first Taser design was proposed in 1952 for commando operations, the "Combined Policeman's Club and Restraining Device" appeared in 1960 and the "Electrified Stick for Postman" was developed in 1964. After that, these devices were used frequently by police to control or prevent riots. In the 1970s, inventors started marketing the devices as self defense products against muggers. This lead to the distribution and selling of all kinds of stun guns and Tasers available to the general public today. Of course sells stun guns and Tasers among other self defense products such as mace, pepper spray, personal alarms and more.
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